Introduction The article talks about the growing India-Vietnam relations and its importance for both countries.
- India under new government has been desiring to play a more assertive role in the larger Indo-Pacific.
- As PM Modi underlined recently, “A strong India-US partnership can anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to Africa and from Indian Ocean to the Pacific. It can also help ensure security of the sea lanes of commerce and freedom of navigation on seas.”
- The decision to sell the supersonic BrahMos missile, made by an Indo-Russian joint venture, to Vietnam is another step in this direction.
- Though India’s ties with Vietnam have been growing in the past few years, this sale was seen as a step too far that would antagonize China.
- But now, the Modi government has directed BrahMos Aerospace, which produces the missiles, to expedite this sale to Vietnam along with four other countries—Indonesia, South Africa, Chile and Brazil.
- India is already providing a concessional line of credit of $100 million for the procurement of defence equipment and in a first of its kind has sold four offshore patrol vessels to Vietnam, which are likely to be used to strengthen the nation’s defences in the energy-rich South China Sea.
- India’s latest move comes at a time when the US has also lifted its longstanding ban on sales of lethal military equipment to Vietnam.
- India wants to build strong defence relations with states like Vietnam that can act as pressure points against China.
- India- Vietnam have stakes in ensuring sea-lane security, as well as shared concerns about Chinese access to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Hence, India is helping Vietnam build capacity for repair and maintenance of its defence platforms.
- At the same time, the armed forces of the two states have started cooperation in areas like IT and English-language training of Vietnamese army personnel.
- India entered the fraught region of the South China Sea via Vietnam when it signed an agreement with Vietnam to expand and promote oil exploration in the South China Sea.
- Despite the Chinese challenge to the legality of the Indian presence, India continued exploration of oil and gas with new-found aggression in taking on China.
- This display of backbone helped India strengthen its relationship with Vietnam.
- If China wants to expand its presence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, New Delhi’s thinking goes, India can do the same thing in East Asia.
- And if China can have a strategic partnership with Pakistan ignoring Indian concerns, India can develop robust ties with states like Vietnam on China’s periphery without giving China a veto on such relationships.
- Vietnam is gradually becoming the linchpin of this eastward move by India. In some quarters of India, Vietnam is already seen as a counterweight in the same way Pakistan has been for China.
- The Modi government’s decision to sell BrahMos missiles to Vietnam underscores the evolution in India’s policy towards the Indo-Pacific. A more engaged India will also lead to a more stable balance of power in the region.
Question : Vietnam is gradually becoming the linchpin of the eastward move by India. It is being seen as a counterweight in the same way Pakistan has been for China. Do you agree with the statement? If yes, then why?
- Whether you agree with the statement or not.
- Examples supporting the statement.
- In conclusion, highlight how this relationship will be helpful for India and specially North Eastern region.